Virtual Shield: A Novel Approach to Defend Against Cyber-attacks

Virtual Shield: A Novel Approach to Defend Against Cyber-attacks

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8750-16-C-0297
Agency Tracking Number: F151-036-2204
Amount: $750,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2016
Solicitation Year: 2015
Solicitation Topic Code: AF151-036
Solicitation Number: 2015.1
Small Business Information
15400 Calhoun Drive, Rockville, MD, 20855
DUNS: 161911532
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: Y
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Peng Xie
 (301) 294-5218
 pxie@i-a-i.com
Business Contact
 Mark James
Phone: (301) 294-5221
Email: mjames@i-a-i.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
In this effort, we develop a virtualization-based end system protection framework, called Virtual Shield, which leverages virtualization to adaptively protect the end systems without deploying an agent in them. Virtual Shield integrates various techniques such as virtualization, rollback, failover, VM introspection, and VM migration under one umbrella for an agentless and adaptive defense architecture.We developed a preliminary Virtual Shield prototype in the phase I effort. The Virtual Shield prototype can quickly and repeatedly save the execution state of a VM and instantly switch the execution of the VM to a previously saved state. We conducted extensive experiments to demonstrate the feasibility of the Virtual Shield prototype. In the Phase II effort, we will continue our Phase I work by adding more new functions. Specifically, we will develop various defense techniques, namely rollback, failover, attack surface diversification and moving target defense. Moreover, we will add VM image sanity checking capability and live VM patching capability to the Virtual Shield architecture. Finally, the proposed techniques are integrated into a prototype implementation.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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